Coaching, Player Development

SF Falcons Tournament Challenge Recap

Summer time is tournament time, for a lot of SFYS teams.
The SF Falcons were no exception to this, but they did it a little differently. They signed up to the first SFYS tournament challenge and experienced their very first tournament!

The Tournament Challenge.
5 practices with team coach and Lee Dunne, SFYS Director of Programming. 1 tournament at the end of summer.

Casey McCormick, team coach, with an impressive collegiate playing experience and USSF ‘D’ license, has lead the team since they were a 2nd grade recreational team that were all enrolled at Miraloma Elementary School. With constant improvement, the team formed into an Upper House team and competes with the best of SFYS teams. Even with the move to Upper House, the team has remained together with some additions from outside the school, but the majority of the team are technically playing up due to being grade pure – 2009’s playing 2008 soccer. The team players have regularly participated in SFYS seasonal skill clinics, as well as local soccer camps, and any other opportunity to play such as SFYS and USSF coaching clinics.

The teams excitement to play and compete has been evident at each week of practice. Sure, they fool around, but they are motivated when it gets competitive.

Coach Casey and Lee Dunne combined with the team for 5 practices to prepare the team for the tournament. Those practices were focused on team tactical development because most of the players were already registered in the technical training that SFYS or other city camps were offering. The topics for each week were:

Week 1 –
Defending in defensive third
– Small sided games building up from 2/3 v 2/3 to phase of play games, using GK.
Week 2 –
Attacking through the thirds
– Progressive possession. Finding the #9 quickly, playing off her.
Week 3 – 
Defending from the front (element of building out of the back, too)
– When to press, and why. Setting traps, forcing mistakes.

Week 4 – 
Building out of the back
– Cues, shape, creativity
Week 5 – 
Game situations. Corners, goal kicks, throw ins, free kicks
– speed of play, urgency, creativity, reading the game / cues

Then, the tournament. Weekend of 8-25 and 8-26 in Pacifica.
Game 1.

SF Falcons vs Pacifica United Jaws
Cagey at first.  It was fairly even, with both teams playing their first game of soccer since the end of the spring season. Then the Falcons seemed to get their foot into the game a little more. With some good moments in the game of using the width of the field, Falcons finally took the lead and they never looked back!
The scoring opened up and the game finished 6-0.
It was a rewarding and welcomed first ever tournament game for the girls. They were super excited about the win, and more so the upcoming team picnic!
Action shots below (Pacifica played in Blue!)

Game 2.
SF Falcons vs SMC Earthquakes
Quite a different experience for the girls in this one. The Earthquakes were a well trained team who had scored 7 goals in their previous game! The game was tight early on, with the Earthquakes having most of the chances on the goal. Falcons stayed strong for a while, but eventually gave up the goal. They continued to fight into the second half and finally created their own chances on goal too, but the final score was 2-0. This team would go on and win the whole tournament, so a really good showing the Falcons here.
Action shots below (SMC played in Pink)

Game 3.
SF Falcons vs Empire Tidal Wave
This was it for the Falcons. Win this game and go to the 3rd / 4th place playoff game. A comfortable win in game 1 and a battle in game 2 meant it was all on the line. It was a fun game and close throughout, but the Falcons won out 2-0, with a notable performance by Nola in goal, after returning from sickness the previous day! Her saves and the teamwork on the field meant the Falcons stuck around for the consolation game and a chance of silverware!
Action Shots (Tidal Wave played White)

Then the consolation game. Game 4!
SF Falcons vs Heritage SC 08 Girls
It was a closely contended game and the best for the girls all weekend.
1-1 into overtime – the furthest the girls had ever gone! They played super well and fought all the way to the end. However, Heritage scored the game killing game and took home the 3rd place medals. The game finished 2-1, but after 4 games, the girls were more focused and more engaged than ever!

After a fantastic Tournament Challenge, the girls are now back into practicing for the season and continuing to talk about everything apart from what happened at the tournament, because they got ice cream after and that makes everything better.

A huge thank you to the parents for the Falcons, to Coach Casey, and of course to the girls for participating. We look forward to seeing the girls progression this season in the Upper House league and look for the next tournament report!

If you are interested in the tournament challenge with your team, please email to find out more!

Good luck this season!









1 thought on “SF Falcons Tournament Challenge Recap

  1. We are blessed to have Coach Casey. Lee’s commitment to the team for the summer practices and tournament is an example of all that’s right with San Francisco Youth Soccer. Thank you so much, Lee.
    Big shout out to the parent who provided nutritious food and logistical support…a true team effort.
    I can’t think of a better inaugural tournament experience. The League (SFYS) has really gone all in on player development at every level. THANK YOU!
    – Sidney’s Dad (Kevin)

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